Are you cracks hairline, surface or structural cracks?
Generally, a crack is a crack and it will almost always come back eventually. This is especially true if it is a structural crack. If someone tries to tell you differently, ask him or her to complete the repairs and give you an unconditional guarantee for just one year. You won't get it.
There are generally four types of cracks:
1. Saw-Cuts (Joint-Cuts) in Concrete: Saw-cuts are made in concrete at time of construction to allow shifting in the court structure over the years actually preventing random cracks. Whether working on new concrete or older concrete courts, we recommend you fill these crack to prevent puddling of coating materials when color coating (coating materials allowed to puddle will crack during the curing process). Saw-cuts should be filled with Backer Rod and then ElasticCrack™, and leveled at to the surface of the court using a putty knife or damp cloth. When filled with these flexible materials, the saw-cuts will continue to provide their function. (Note: Never fill saw-cuts with concrete or asphalt fillers.) *See below for crack repair instructions.
2. Hairline Cracks: Hairline cracks are surface cracks that form mostly from oxidation of the court surface. Hairline cracks are considered to be very shallow and narrow. If the crack is not wide enough to accept ElasticCrack™ Pourable material, then forget about them. When the basecoat (MultiCover™) and color coatings (MultiMate™) are applied to the court, the hairline cracks will be sealed and covered over. *See below for crack repair instructions.
3. Prominent Surface Cracks: Prominent surface cracks are cracks that are penetrating the top portion of the court surface, but have not gone all the way through the 2-3” structure of the court. These cracks appear over time, and more frequently in asphalt than concrete surfaces. They tend to be wider in the middle of the length of the crack, and can stretch out to be hairline cracks at the ends. It is important to repair prominent surface cracks before they become structural cracks. ElasticCrack™ Pourable,ElasticCrack™ Pourable, and ElasticCrack™ Fortified can be used, often in combination, to complete the repairs of these cracks. *See below for crack repair instructions.
4. Structural Cracks: Structural cracks are cracks that have completed penetrated through the depth of the court structure generating a void all the way through the court to the sub-base of the court. Frequently, there will be vegetation growing from these cracks. When structural cracks are present, it is not necessary to tear out the court as many asphalt and concrete contractors may say. These cracks can be repaired, requiring only a few materials, patience and diligence. *See below for crack repair instructions.
Crack Repair Instructions - How to Treat the Different Sized Cracks
1. Saw-Cuts (Joint-Cuts) in new or existing concrete Courts:
To fill saw-cuts in new or existing concrete court, first fill with Backer Rod and then top up withElasticCrack™ Pourable or ElasticCrack™. Level ElasticCrack with the court surface using a putty knife or damp cloth. Be sure to feather the edges of the ElasticCrack so there is no raised edge on the court surface.
To view Back Rod, click here.
2. Hairline cracks:
If the hairline cracks are wide enough to place the edge of a nickel into, after power washing the court using a fan-spray nozzle and 2000-2200 psi (pounds per square inch), fill with ElasticCrack™ Pourable and level and feather the edges of the crack repair with a putty knife or damp cloth. Allow to cure for a minimum of 24 hours before commencing coating materials.
To view ElasticCrack™ Pourable, click here.
3. Prominent Surface Cracks:
Clean court surface and thoroughly clean out cracks using a power washer with a fan-spray nozzle and 2000-2200 psi (pounds per square inch). We recommend using Backer Rod to fill the base of the crack reducing the work required and the amount of ElasticCrack™ required to complete the crack repair. As well, you may wish to use a combination of the various grades of ElasticCrack™ to best fill these cracks. If cracks are up to 1” wide, use ElasticCrack™ Fortified. If the cracks are mostly ½” wide, use ElasticCrack™ (medium grade). If cracks are less than ½”, use ElasticCrack™ Pourable. Only apply ElasticCrack in ½” depths at a time to allow for proper curing. If necessary, complete crack repair in multiple lifts of ½”.
Note: All grades of ElasticCrack™ are available in Green, Red and White. ElasticCrack Fortified is also available in Blue.
Important: ElasticCrack™ is ready to use, do not dilute. Work ElasticCrack into crack using putty knife or trowel. Level and feather at surface to avoid scraping up of excess material when dry.
To view Backer Rod, click here.
To view ElasticCrack™ Pourable, click here.
To view ElasticCrack™ (medium grade), click here.
To view ElasticCrack™ Fortified, click here.
4. Structural Cracks:
Clean court surface and thoroughly clean out cracks using a power washer with a fan-spray nozzle and 2000-2200 psi (pounds per square inch). If vegetation in growing from cracks, thoroughly clean out cracks, removing all vegetation and sufficiently apply a weed control substance to kill and prevent vegetation growth. Allow 7 days to ensure no vegetation remains or re-occures.
When structural cracks have penetrated the entire depth of the court, this allows water to flow into the cracks and as a result, the water will have washed away some of the sub-base of the court’s gravel foundation. When the sub-base has been washed away, whether small or large amounts, this ultimately leaves a void beneath that area of the court; the asphalt or concrete in this area is thus somewhat suspended in mid-air. These circumstances, if not dealt with will exacerbate the cracks even more over time. All that said, these cracks can be dealt with with the following procedures.
Materials you will need for Structural Crack Repair: Fine Silica Sand, Quickrete (or similar quick-setting cement), and MultiAcrylic™ Patch Binder.
1. First, you will need to determine how deep the voids extend beneath the court surface. Use a screw driver, measuring stick, or anything you can extend into the crack. This will give you an idea how much silica sand fill material you will need.
2. Pour silica sand into the crack to fill the void beneath the court surface. Ideally you want to fill that void to the base of the court structure (2-3” beneath the court surface.) If the crack is too narrow to pour silica sand directly into, pour the silica on the court surface beside the crack and sweep the sand into the crack using a broom or brush.
3. Gently soak the sand in the void with water (low-pressure hose) to settle and compact the silica sand. Repeat the above process of filling the void with sand until cracks have been filled flush with the base of the court structure, 2-3” beneath the court surface. *Do not fill the crack itself with sand; just the void beneath the court surface.
4. You will now need to fill the crack itself, the 2-3” depth of the court structure, with Quickrete or similar quick setting cement to ½” – ¼” beneath the court surface. This will repair the structure of the court by filling the 2-3” deep void of the court in this area. (*Do not level to court surface; leave ½” – ¼” beneath court surface. Leveling to court surface should be completed with MultiAcrylic™ Patch Binder). Note: Follow the instructions provided on the product of quick setting cement purchased.
5. Allow to fully cure for a minimum of 24 hours.
6. Level the structural crack repairs with MultiAcrylic™ Patch Binder following all instructions from our Leveling Depressions. To read Leveling Depressions, click here.
To view MultiAcrylic™ Patch Binder, click here.
Wash all tools with water. If material has dried, use kerosene.
- Read the container label before using. Follow label instructions.
- When applying, surface temperature must be a minimum of 50 degrees F. (10C) for a minimum of 24 hours. Do not apply if overnight temperatures drop to below 50 degrees F (10C). Do not apply if surface temperature exceeds 135 degrees F. (57C)
- Do not apply if night temperature will be dropping below 50 degrees F. Depending on the depth of the cracks, you may require two or three days and nights with surface temperatures in excess of 50 degrees F. for the crack fillers to thoroughly dry.
- Do not apply when rain is imminent or forecast.
- When applying indoors, use with adequate ventilation during application and drying.
- Close containers when not in use.
- Do not store in direct sunlight or where temperature may exceed 100 degrees F.
- KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN.
- KEEP FROM FREEZING.
After The Cracks Have Dried:
After the cracks have dried, you may see a slight settling of crack filler. This is to be expected particularly with wider cracks. ElasticCrack and ElasticCrack-Fortified are water soluble materials and therefore water constitutes part of the volume. As a result, when the filler dries (and the water content is no longer there) settling may occur. Any slight imperfections where crack repair was completed can be remedied when applying MultiCover ™ basecoat.
Fine Tuning Crack Repairs After The Base-Coat Has Been Applied:
When you apply MultiCover™ base-coat, minor crack indentations will disappear. Remaining crack indentations after the base-coat has been applied can be easily treated by pouring a bead of MultiCover along any remaining indented area, and level with trowel or squeegee. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary for you to be satisfied before applying the first application of MultiMate™ color. We refer to this process as "fine tuning your crack repairs" before starting the color.
To view MultiCover™ Acrylic Resurfacer, click here.
To view MultiMate™ Color with Sand, click here.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the crack repair procedures described above. Your input is welcomed and greatly appreciated.
Feel free to contact us at 1-800-263-8800 for assistance with products
or to receive an estimate for your court.